Tour de France festival receives £1m funding boost

Calderdale will host part of next year's Tour de France. PA Wire
Calderdale will host part of next year's Tour de France. PA Wire

The first ever Arts & Cultural Festival to accompany the start of the Tour de France moved a step closer today after Arts Council England awarded funding of £1million towards the project.

Starting at the end of March next year, the Arts & Cultural Festival will showcase Yorkshire as a creative county in the 100 days before the start of the Tour de France 2014.

It will include keynote commissions to animate the Grand Depart and the route of the Tour de France through Yorkshire.

The 2014 Grand Depart will travel through Calderdale on Sunday, June 6 next year.

The initiative, the first of its kind in the 110 year history of the Tour de France, hopes to secure a further £1m of match funding to help deliver the project.

Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: “I’m delighted that we are able to help fund the Arts and Cultural Festival that will celebrate the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire.

“It will showcase all that is great about Yorkshire arts and culture as well as providing an opportunity for specially commissioned work.

“Building excitement across the region in the run up to the Tour de France, I can’t think of a better way to mark the historic occasion of the Grand Départ taking place in Yorkshire.’

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding to deliver an ambitious programme of events to celebrate the arrival of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for the whole county to share in the excitement and interest that will be building in the run-up to the 2014 Tour de France, helping to put Yorkshire on the map for millions of people months before the riders arrive.”